We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king.” The past several years have seen an accelerating trend where search engines reward high-quality, valuable content. That trend definitely won’t reverse anytime soon, but it is taking an interesting twist: If Google’s newest changes are any clue, it’s not the content that’s king but the content creators.
And just because your site releases great content doesn’t make you a content creator. It’s the individual authors that Google is increasingly shining the spotlight on, not the companies or entities that publish their work. That means that a great content creator, as an individual expert, is really what could very well drive search rank for the foreseeable future—and brands are just along for the ride.
If that sounds terrible for your business, think again. It really just means that if you’ve already been paying attention to SEO trends and prioritizing content, you’ve laid a fertile groundwork for this new development. Because your best content is already coming from skilled content creators, whether that’s in-house personalities or relationships you’ve cultivated with other authors.
The New Era of Authorship
Google may have stopped showing author headshots next to search results, but it has big plans for authorship as a whole. Putting an emphasis on individual authors improves their search algorithm in many ways:
- It makes the Internet more like a real room, where people meet and listen to individuals—not entities.
- By rewarding authors for signing their content, authors self-police and quality goes up.
- Expertise is rewarded.
Google is making this change through several shifts. For one thing, it has flat-out eliminated the bottom 15 percent of low-quality authors, setting a clear standard and giving more visibility to better authors. For another, it seems to be giving more weight to authors than to overall blogs in gauging expertise (which means relevance). The takeaway is clear: Brands that cultivate good content authors will rise in the search engine food chain.
How to Succeed As a Content Creator
All this raises the big question: what does your business need to do to stay on top?
At a minimum, you need to have skilled authors producing your next piece of content. But just as important, you need to make sure you’re broadcasting that authorship to Google. That means:
- Make sure your business’ best bloggers have their Google Authorship profiles set up and that each post attributes authorship.
- From those profiles, link to specific posts rather than a general About page.
- Make sure the Authorship markup is correct on both Google+ and Twitter (yes, you can mark up on Twitter!).
- Invest in good social media strategy if you haven’t already, including the personal accounts of your company’s author personalities.
- If you use WordPress as your blogging tool, install and learn to use the Google Authorship plugins so that every post makes the most of your authorship clout.
- Don’t slack on traditional SEO. While authorship adds a fruitful new dimension to SEO strategy, it doesn’t erase the value of building quality links, on-page SEO or—most importantly—the quality of the content itself.
If this has you wondering just how strong your own content’s authorship is, EverSpark can help. We work only with the most talented content creators, who can produce valuable feature content for your business. We can also help you optimize your use of Authorship markup so that you’re getting the full boost it offers.
Who does blogging for your company? Do you have individual authors creating your blogs, and are they set up with Google Authorship? Leave us a comment below and tell us your approach. Is it still working for you with all these changes?